Caracas, March 6: Thousands of shattered supporters of Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela who passed away after prolonged illness on Tuesday, mourned his death as allies of the socialist leader hoped that the emotions would see the survival of Chavez's self-styled revolution.
Chavez, one of the most recognized leftist leader in contemporary world politics, died at the age of 58 after a two-year battle with cancer in his pelvis. He had stopped appearing in the public since his fourth surgery in December last year.
Chavez had undergone treatment in Cuba before getting admitted in a hospital in Venezuela.
Thousands of mourning supporters of the leader, who was often described to be authoritarian, took to the streets to pay the final tributes to the flamboyant leader, whose body will be taken to a military academy on Wednesday where it will be kept for three days.
The state-run media broadcast past speeches and appearances of Chavez under the banner "Chavez lives" after the news of his death was confirmed by Vice President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday.
The future of Chavez's leftist policies now rests on Maduro, whom the leader had planned to succeed him. Maduro, meanwhile, appealed the countrymen to maintain peace and tranquility at this hour of national tragedy. The 50-year-old Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader, is likely to be challenged by Henrique Capriles, the governor of Mirandra state, in the next national election.
Authorities said the election would be called within a month although it was not clear whether the election would be held in that time period or just that the itinerary would be announced. According to a recent survey, Maduro has a strong lead over Capriles as the sympathy wave is expected to help his cause. Capriles had lost to Chavez in the presidential election held in October last year.